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Re: [tor-talk] New Report on Internet Censorship in Pakistan

You're right - our findings probably aren't shocking. Our intention
though is not to shock, but to provide evidence of what is or isn't
happening internet censorship-wise in the country.

From my perspective, one of the most interesting findings from this
study is the blocking of ethnic minority sites:

It's easy to notice censorship when major platforms that we commonly use
are blocked. The hard part is noticing when the sites of minority groups
are censored. And I think it's important that minority voices are also

Due to the sensitive nature of minority sites, they're possibly more
likely to be blocked, and we're less likely to notice when it happens.

This report sheds light on such cases.

On 18/10/2017 16:05, Kevin wrote:
> This is interesting data though not all that shocking when you take
> into account the general attitudes in that government.
> On 10/18/2017 6:24 AM, Maria Xynou wrote:
>> Hello,
>> Today, in collaboration with Bytes for All Pakistan, the Open
>> Observatory of Network Interference (OONI) published a research report
>> examining internet censorship in Pakistan over the the last three years.
>> The report, titled "Internet Censorship in Pakistan: Findings from
>> 2014-2017", is available here:
>> https://ooni.torproject.org/post/pakistan-internet-censorship/
>> https://twitter.com/OpenObservatory/status/920588717508751360
>> This study includes an analysis of thousands of network measurements
>> collected (through the use of OONI Probe) from 22 local vantage points
>> in Pakistan over the last three years.
>> We confirm the blocking of 210 URLs in Pakistan. Explicit blockpages
>> were served for many of those URLs, while others were blocked by means
>> of DNS tampering.
>> In many cases, Pakistani ISPs appear to be applying "smart filters",
>> selectively blocking access to specific webpages hosted on HTTP, rather
>> than blocking access to entire domains. Overall, we only found ISPs to
>> be blocking the HTTP version of sites, potentially enabling censorship
>> circumvention over HTTPS (for sites that support encrypted HTTPS
>> connections).
>> We found a wide range of different types of sites to be blocked,
>> including LGBT sites, communication tools, and pornography, amongst
>> others.
>> Notably, most of the blocked URLs include:
>>    * Sites hosting content pertaining to the controversial "Everybody
>>      Draw Mohammed Day"
>>    * Web proxies
>> The blocking of sites related to "Draw Mohammed Day" is legally
>> justified under Pakistan's Penal Code, which prohibits blasphemy.
>> Similarly, the blocking of other sites (such as pornography and other
>> sites promoting provocative attire) can be justified under Pakistan's
>> laws and regulations.
>> However, we also found the sites of the Baluch and Hazara ethnic
>> minority groups to be blocked**as well. According to human rights
>> groups, these minorities have experienced discrimination and abuse by
>> authorities. These censorship events may be politically motivated.
>> On a positive note, we found popular communication tools, like WhatsApp
>> and Facebook Messenger, to be accessible. Quite similarly, the Tor
>> network was accessible in most networks throughout the testing period.
>> All data collected from Pakistan is publicly available here:
>> https://api.ooni.io/files/by_country/PK
>> ~ The OONI team.
> ---
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Maria Xynou
Research and Partnerships Coordinator
Open Observatory of Network Interference (OONI)
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